The Animal Inside Us

My AP Drawing year one class took on the task of diving deep into the world of animal symbolism in art. We decoded Renaissance artists use of animals to convey meaning, and we looked at how contemporary artists are using animals as symbols now.

Students read “Decoding Animals in Art History, From Immortal Peacocks to Lusty Rabbits” by Abigail Cain. Then picked an animal that appealed to them or meant something to them symbolically. They then set about creating a self portrait where a part of them had become this animal. It could be their head it could be thier body, or maybe just their hands!? Then, in the media of their choice they painted/collaged/drew a fully rendered work of art.

Each work session they took a photograph and documented their progress. This is new for me this year, because of the hybrid model I am now using Google Classroom for the first time. In Google Classroom they created a Google Slideshow that included reference photos, sketches and daily progress shots. This way I was able to check on progress after each class and leave written feedback. One thing I am missing this year is being able to give live feedback. I am able to do this when students are in person, but some of my students are fully remote so this is the next best thing, and provides me an opportunity to give a similar amount of support, correction and assistance from a distance.

And here are the results!

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